Archive for the ‘irishblogs’ Category

Getting through to a human

Saturday, November 26th, 2005

Found this cheatsheet for IVR systems and was thinking we’d need something like this for Ireland. We must all be sick of the phone menu firewalls preventing us talking to a minimum wage person and going through a maze of options before we can speak to someone who doesn’t want to help us.

A quick Google can even tell you the IVR systems that some companies use. Should be able to guess the default numbers then for getting to the humans and await their fantastic customer service.

Letters to the Editor – Something that’s dying off?

Saturday, November 26th, 2005

Thomas Crampton talks about the small amount of letters to the editor that the International Herald Tribune gets.

We receive at the IHT roughly 30 letters per day, of which 10-15 are usable, the letters editor said. We end up publishing roughly six.

These are letters by e-mail or fax or post. I wonder is it the same for Irish papers? When you think about all those moronic phone-in polls on the like of TV3 and Sky News where it seems 100s of not 1000s of people text in their opinion then that is seriously low. The likes of the Last Word on TodayFM get inundated with emails and texts on certain topics. Everyone is happily burying papers but I have to wonder why so little letters for such a large distribution?

Texts are immediate I guess, as are many emails to the radio shows. You listen to something on the radio and you txt in right away and they will probably read it out just after the piece. Instant satisfaction for you and quick and cheap. With papers your reply is delayed by at least 24 hours. Very much like “Oh, what was it I was talking about again? Oh yeah.”

Wolves in the Walls – Glasgow in March/April

Saturday, November 26th, 2005

I think I’ll make a trip to Glasgow in March. Neil Gaiman’s Wolves in the Walls – the Musical is showing there.

Tednorati – Groan! Oh James!

Saturday, November 26th, 2005

James talks about Doogle and suggests we have an Irish Technorati called Tednorati. Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

Scoble is bigger than Bill Gates but not John Lennon

Saturday, November 26th, 2005

Scoble has been all humble after someone declared talking to him is like talking to Bill Gates.

I’m very honored, but that tells me my hype has way gone over the top. I haven’t done anything special. I haven’t cured cancer. I haven’t invented anything. I haven’t built a product. I don’t have the power to change your life the way a billionaire could. I haven’t written a line of code. I just write everyday about what I’m seeing and feeling.

Perhaps Bill with his access to nearly every desktop in the world and his wallet bursting with billion dollar notes could significantly change the world and make it better but I don’t read Bill’s blog (because he doesn’t have one) and I doubt if he had one he’d be linking to potential competitors, giving kudos to clever technologies no matter who made them or responding to comments. Scoble does all this and still does his day job. I don’t know was it Scoble’s influence or just a seachange in Microsoft but I can start to see humanity in Microsoft now. It is slowly becoming a company with a sense of community compared to the old Beast of Redmond persona it had. Even if Scoble didn’t have anything to do with this he has highlighted the changes and as his recent podcast with Tom Raftery showed he isn’t afraid of speaking out against evil deeds done by Microsoft.

Robert has a massive audience who he cares about, a lot of important people read him daily and debate him. In return for having such an audience he isn’t afraid to give some love back by talking about people who contact him with interesting ideas and products. His audience gives him the power to promote some great products that we may never have seen if it wasn’t for him.

I’d disagree that he hasn’t the power to change lives. He does but not on the same scale as Bill. He can promote a struggling company or individual and encourage them along on the road to success. Perhaps in the literal sense he hasn’t invented anything but what he has done is introduced the world on new ways of making contacts and doing business, he has helped companies to reinvent themselves by talking about what he thinks works. He says he hasn’t build a product, is his blog and his audience not a product of a sort?

I can’t see Bill Gates going to a pub and inviting people there for a pint. I can just see Bill Gates meet normal folk who want to hang around with him and talk about everything and anything: *Bill starts pressing the big red button on his Windows Live Utility Belt and the silent black stealth helicopters (with built-in Windows Vista technology) swoop in and whisk him away from the mob of fanboys as Ballmer throws chairs from the chopper.*

The Irish Geek Dinner with Robert Scoble is on Nov 30th. I just realised that it’s a Wednesday not a Thursday. I have lectures til 2100 on Wednesday. Dang.

NOTE: After a post that seems very brown-nosing I’ll no doubt have an anti-Scoble post out soon.

Digital Rights Ireland – Podcast

Friday, November 25th, 2005

Digital Rights Ireland talk with Tom Raftery. Another podcast from Tom, he’s being quite prolific of late with the podcasts. Every blogger that has some time and bandwidth should download this and take notes. Tom sounded quite surprised at a few things that were discussed.

60% of Irish people have never used email

Friday, November 25th, 2005

The JNLR figures came out this week and as well as having the usual Radio listenership stuff they had other trends on Internet usage and gadget usage. I unfortunately don’t have access to the data (you have to pay for it) but was told by a few friends and journalists about it. The biggie was that 60% of people have never used email and that only 45% of people either at home or work have access to the Internet. 14% of people surveyed have DSL at home and 37% have regular Internet access. I’m waiting on clarifications on these figures especially the “never used email” bit. Anyone know TNS MRBI people who could clarify these figures?

Piaras briefed us about the last JNLRs which showed 14% of people had an mp3 player. The most recent figures state that 8% of adults have an iPod. That’s quite surprising to me. Very high.

The low usage of Internet reflects an IrelandOffline press release on the digital divide we sent out earlier this week which quoted ComReg figures showing only 37% of households go online and only 1/4 of them use broadband. The big issue with the figure apart from being low is that it hasn’t changed in two years.

I’m genuinely shocked at this email usage figure and the fact that when you add work and home net access the usage figure is only 45%. So much for knowledge economy, so much for the digital hub.

UPDATE: Sunday Times piece on this.

MSN addons via Robert Burke

Thursday, November 24th, 2005

Robert Burke talked about MSN activities here and there are some interesting apps for MSN. He also highlights the Ask Encarta MSN add-on.

So, I added it to MSN and had a chat with Encarta:

Damien M: Is Open Source Good?
Encarta® Instant Answers says: I don’t think I know Open Source Good.

Damien M: Is Google evil?
Encarta® Instant Answers says: I don’t know. Do you think it is evil?

Thursday 24th November bits

Thursday, November 24th, 2005

More Google videos:

Barney to a 2pac soundtrack.

Family Guy, horrible ugly puking clip. Highly entertaining.

Via BoingBoing:

A woman named Mary Van Deusen creates videos for old pop songs by recutting footage from the old Sherlock Holmes Granada TV series starring Jeremy Brett.

View her art here.

Only in America:
A bike with a treadmill. So you can jog on a treadmill while touring around outdoors.

Antoin talks about the new Blueface.ie user interface:

So I can set it up so that when a customer rings my Dublin number, both my phone in the office and my mobile phone (and my home phone as well, if I want) all ring, and the call goes through to whichever phone is answered first.

That’s shit hot!

Coolhunting talk about the work of Cindy Wright. Beautiful art and photorealistic.

Wednesday Videos

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005

Fantastic Virgin Atlantic Ad

Speaking of videos. All the revulsion that happens when Americans see little kids with AK-47s in the Mid-East. Via MeFi is the video of Americans getting their kids to use machine guns to fire at targets. Big and clever.